GANGSTER William Lobban has told how he was recruited by one of Scotland’s most notorious crime figures for the ultimate hit.
In his new book, William Lobban claims he was hired by Tam “The Licensee” McGraw to assassinate his underworld rival Arthur Thompson senior in 1991.
And Lobban, 46, claims that McGraw was a key player in the murder of Thompson’s son, Arthur junior, in March that year.
Glasgow gangland figure Paul Ferris was cleared in court of the murder on a unanimous not guilty verdict.
McGraw then upped the ante to target the kingpin himself – and wanted Lobban to pull the trigger.
In his book, Lobban tells how he met with McGraw to arrange the deal.
He said: “I was on the run from jail at the time and Ferris was being held on remand for a shooting, so he was in jail.
“I met Tam McGraw and chatted to him in his dark BMW and he laid out what he wanted to happen.
“He said that he wanted old Arthur to be the next one to go and he wanted me to do it. He told me it had to happen as soon as possible.”
Lobban said McGraw had given him a handgun to be used in the hit but gave no specific orders on how it should be carried out.
He said: “He looked me in the eye and told me that he just wanted it done.
“He must have trusted that I was capable of pulling it off. He said he had contacts in Ireland and that I could be put up in a safehouse over there.”
But Lobban never carried out the hit because he feared McGraw was setting him up.
Lobban said he suspected that the ruthless McGraw was trying to manipulate him, hoping he would get an arch-rival out of the way while Lobban took the blame for the murder.
(pic )Peter Jolly
In yesterday’s Record we revealed Lobban’s account of how his own uncle confessed to the 20-year-old unsolved murder of Paul Hamilton.
Lobban, a lifetime crook who says he is reformed, claimed Billy Manson was ordered by Thompson snr to kill Hamilton because of his close links to Ferris. With one hand, Lobban cleared former close friend and crime accomplice Ferris of involvement in the killing of Hamilton.
But in the book, he also strips bare events around the killing of Joe Hanlon and Bobby Glover – who were close friends of Ferris and Lobban himself.
The book, The Glasgow Curse: My Life in the Criminal Underworld, also lays down how Hanlon and Glover plotted to murder Thompson jnr – a killing that sparked one of Glasgow’s worst-ever gang feuds.
Lobban said: “It was August 17 in 1991 and I was on the run from Dungavel Open Prison. I had done a runner with just six months left on my sentence, which was a stupid move.
“I was in Bobby Glover’s house with Joe Hanlon.
“At this stage, I knew nothing of what they were planning and I had no idea of the chaos that would erupt.”
As well as being closely connected to players in the murder of Thompson jnr, Lobban was also caught up in the revenge hit exacted on Glover and Hanlon.
He admits being the last person to see his friends alive. And some underworld figures firmly believe he lured them to their deaths.
After meeting with Lobban, they were found dead in Hanlon’s car the following day by Alan Cross, who was the manager of the Cottage Bar, Hanlon and Glover’s “gang hut”.
In Lobban’s chilling memoir, he tells how he was born in Exeter Prison to a violent, schizophrenic mother.
His upbringing resulted in him being taken into care, destined for a life of violence and criminality.
Aged 15, he masterminded a break-in at a Glasgow pub, and many years of armed robberies, dealing class A drugs and gang fights followed.
He claims he has turned his back on crime and the book is his bid to set the record straight on many twisted accounts of his involvement
in some of the Glasgow’s most infamous incidents.
By Mark McGivern